There are some books which make you see everything around you in whole new light — Fynn’s Mister God, This is Anna, is one of them. Anna, a perky 5-year old who comes into the author’s life and in a way ‘adopts’ him, teaches him to live life in a way that he hadn’t known before. In the book, Fynn describes the few years he spends with Anna who dies in a freak accident before she turned eight.
Mr God… could never have worked if it was a figment of the author’s imagination. Anna’s creative spirit and her lust for knowledge couldn’t have found its seeds in an adult’s imagination. As any little child, Anna finds life in the little things surrounding her in the tumultuous 1930s London — she “was a theologian, mathematician, philosopher, poet and gardener” as she experienced life one day at a time.
Her best friend, after Fynn of course, was Mr God — she hated going to church, but believed in angels — “the difference from a person and an angel is easy. Most of an angel is in the inside and most of a person is on the outside,” is what she believed in.
Anna’s take on everything has a whole new meaning for the ‘adult’ Fynn, who at first is taken by surprise at her interpretations, but at the same time is excited to know what she comes up with next.
Anna: Fynn, is church sex?
Fynn: What do you mean, is church sex?
Anna: It puts seeds in your heart and makes new things come
Anna: That’s why it’s Mister God and not Missis God…
Anna: I think lessons is sex too
Anna: Lessons put things in your head and some new things come
Fynn: That’s not sex, that’s learning. Sex is for making babies…
Anna: I can’t have babies though, can’t I?
Fynn: Well, not quite yet.
Anna: But I can have new ideas, can’t I?
Fynn: Sure, you can!
Anna: So, it’s like having a baby…
This is how conversations between the 5-year-old and her 30-year-old friend goes in the book. Everyday, the adult discovers a whole new world through the eyes of a child. Sometimes, her sheer knowledge of numbers would amaze him, sometimes her logic would defy all that he has learnt in his life — sometimes the pressure of answering her incessant questions would weigh him down (just like any parent would feel weighed down by the pressures of bringing up an imaginative and intelligent child). But, here’s a lesson that Fynn gives to all parents who have children whose minds work overtime — instead of putting these questions away, try and work them out along with the child. As Fynn discovers to his own peril — each answered question, each solved problem brings with it ‘squillions’ (Anna’s word for infinite) of other queries that demand explanations.
However, in the end, it is Anna’s life force that teaches Fynn that she might be dead — but she is ‘in the middle’ of his being. He realises that God might be slow, but he ‘makes it all right in the end.’
A review of this particular book could go on and on, into ‘squillions’ of words, but that would mean denying the reader that tingling feeling of discovery and the sheer joy of being a child again — undiluted by the rigours of life.